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Zimbabwe: ZCTU Fumes As Unionist Jailed 16 Months Over Wage Protest

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The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade (ZCTU) has issued a strong condemnation of the harsh imprisonment handed against trade unionist, Sheila Chisirimunhu for protesting against underpayment.

Chisirimunhu, a member of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), has been imprisoned for 16 months over a June protest in Masvingo.

She had joined other teachers in Masvingo for the protest.

According to ZCTU acting secretary general Sylvester Mutindindi, the trade unionist had been among “clearly less 50 observing all Covid-19 regulations and were peaceful” during the protest.

Police pounced on the protesters who all fled save for Chisirimunhu who was the only one unfortunate to be arrest.

The ZCTU official said the unionist was convicted for holding a banner inscribed, “USD salaries now!”.

Said Mutindindi, “The ZCTU believes this is a miscarriage of justice and an attack on workers Constitutional right to demonstrate and petition. This is an attempt to silence and scare workers to partake in any future demonstrations.

“This is a sad day in the history of trade unions. The ZCTU will do whatever is possible to support her and ARTUZ in this darkest hour.”

The Zanu PF led government presiding over harsh anti-protest laws has taken a tough stance against protests with activists often accused of attempts to overthrow the under-fire administration.

In May this year, MDC Alliance MP Joanna Mamombe and two female party activists claimed abduction and torture by suspected state security agents after the had joined other opposition youths stage a flash protest against government in the high density suburb of Warren Park, some 5km outside the Harare CBD.

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